The hike to find the spring for the river that runs through our city was a long and uphill one. It lay at one of the peaks of the Krkonose Mountains, the highest mountain here in Czechia.
When we found it, it was well-marked and protected with stone work. But we could not drink from it.
Our water supply had diminished to an almost empty bottle. And we were thirsty. We’d have to hike down to the starting point.
Have you ever been thirsty … thirsty for something more than this world offers?
With each passing decade of life, I realize even more that nothing ever really quenches that deep longing in our hearts like the love and truth of God.
Jesus said, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.” He was of course referring to our spirit, to our hearts. How do we drink from Jesus? He went to say, “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” Jh. 7:37, 38
Early in my faith journey, I tasted the truth of what Jesus was saying. I was a university student looking for meaning and purpose. And I couldn’t find it in relationships, achievements or education. Then one glorious, happy day, the light of Jesus was turned on in my life. For the first time in my life, I could “see.”
My spirit came to life and I went from darkness to light … from death to life.
It’s been more than two decades since that day. And as a traveler on this journey of faith, I’ve found that I’ve needed to come back often to Jesus and drink deeply. When all is well, (marriage is great, kids are healthy and ministry is flowing) I easily forget how much I need to come and drink from His living water.
Then out nowhere it seems a trial hits our home or I am faced with a personal crisis. And once again, I find myself lost in a dark valley desperate for a way out.
It’s interesting to read in Revelation, the last book of the Bible, that the Lamb, Jesus, will lead us to springs of living water.
“For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’” Rev. 7:17
I love the last bit, “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” Jesus never promised that this life of faith would be easy and that a prayer would fix everything. We live in a world full of sin, unthinkable evil and darkness, and sometimes I find some of that darkness within my own heart.
I’ve walked through my share of dark valleys and cried in agony over devastating hurts and deep disappointments that cut to the core of your being. If you’ve lived any length of time, you probably have too.
When you are lost in that valley, it’s hard to see the way out. And on your own you may never make it out.
But Jesus promised that He would never leave us or forsake us … even if it was our foolishness, our sin that led us there. He is the Good Shepherd who is there all along ready to guide us out of darkest valleys.
He asks us to give him our bitterness and the hurt that’s turned into hatred. In its place he offers living water – living water which heals our hearts and gives us true life.
Come and drink freely. Give up the right to be right. Follow Jesus in the path of humility. Let the reality of His unending love fill your heart. Believe His Word and allow Him to wipe away every tear.
Not only does He guide us out of the valley but He leads us besides still waters and restores our soul. And like the psalmist we will yet see the “goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
Come and drink. There’s enough for both of us.